Ben Cleary scored twice and set up the other two goals as Avalon Roebothan McKay Marshall Capitals defeated Southern Shore C&W Offshore Breakers 4-2 Sunday at the Goulds Arena in the Penney Kia St. John’s Junior Hockey League final.
Manise Kendall (left) of the Southern Shore C & W Offshore Breakers and Zack Tucker of the Avalon Roebothan, McKay Marshall Capitals narrowly avoid a big collision during their Penney Kia St. John’s Junior Hockey League game at the Goulds Arena Sunday afternoon. The Capitals lead the best-of-seven league final 2-1. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Avalon leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.
Game 4 goes Friday 8:10 p.m. at the Southern Shore Arena in Mobile.
First-place Avalon took Game 1 of the series 5-2 Friday night at Mobile Arena before third-place Southern Shore rebounded for a 6-5 overtime victory Saturday at Goulds Arena.
Capitals' coach David Hutchens said Cleary and fellow first-year Josh Crane have been the leaders on the team after the first three games.
“Those two rookies have been carrying the team right now,” Hutchens said. “The veterans have been doing their share, but it’s the two 18-year-olds who are leading the way.”
The series has been wide open to this point, and Hutchens still says it could go either way.
He said Saturday’s overtime game may have been exciting for the fans but “not pretty” in terms of the way his team played.
“Anytime you give up six goals, you don’t deserve to win,” he said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win by scoring five, but we don’t want to get into a shootout. We prefer a 3-2 or 3-1 kind of game.
“Today (Sunday) was a fantastic game of hockey. It was probably the fastest-paced game all year and yet we were playing our third game in about 40 hours.
“You would think both teams would have been tired, but it wasn’t the case.”
Hutchens said prior to the start of the final that goaltending and special teams would be the keys to the series, and he figures that’s exactly the way it’s going.
Capitals netminder Doug Pippy has given up two goals twice, while allowing six in the team’s only loss where he made 30 saves.
As far as the special teams are concerned, Avalon has scored seven power play goals so far.
“We managed to chase their goalie (Josh Carey) out Friday night, but he was good Saturday night even though he gave up five goals and he was pretty good today (Sunday),” said Hutchens.
The next game is huge, according to the Avalon mentor.
“We’re either up 3-1 or the series is tied 2-2, and that’s a big difference.”
Mike Cole and Crane had the other Avalon goals Sunday.
Dylan Joy and Riley Ricks replied for the Breakers, who outshot the Capitals 37-36.
Avalon led 1-0 after the first period, and took a 3-2 lead into the third frame.
Pippy was in net for the Capitals, while Carey was in goal for the Breakers.
Cleary and Breakers’ Justin David were named Jungle Jim’s players of the game.
Game 5 is slated for 8:40 p.m. Saturday at Goulds Arena with Game 6, if necessary, set for 7:10 at the Southern Shore Arena.
Game 1 (Friday)
Capitals 5, Breakers 2
Josh Crane and Zack Tucker had two goals each for the Capitals. Ben Murphy scored once.
D.J. Elliott and Mitch Martin had the goals for Breakers.
Capitals outshot the Breakers 38-36
Elliott and Crane were named players of the game.
Carey and Alex Campbell shared the netminding duties for the Breakers. Pippy was in net for Avalon.
Game 2 (Saturday)
Breakers 6, Capitals 5 (OT)
Peter Kavanagh scored twice and assisted on two goals to pace the Breakers.
Mitchell Martin scored twice and set up one goal for the winners, who got single tallies from Daniel Dalton and Daniel Chafe.
Cleary scored three goals for Avalon and Crane had a pair.
The Capitals outshot the Breakers 42-36. The teams were scoreless after the opening frame and tied 2-2 after two periods.
Carey got the win over Pippy.
Cleary and Kavanagh were selected players of the game.